I have a valid F1 visa, but my I-20 and opt have expired. My H1-B application got selected in the lottery and I am eligible to stay in the US under capgap.

Now however, for personal reasons, I need to move back to India before October 1st and I am planning to take a trip around Europe on my way back. What may be the complications in getting a Schengen visa?

  • Are you a citizen of India? Any other citizenships? – Nate Eldredge Aug 25 '15 at 1:07
  • Yes.. I am an Indian citizen.. I do not hold any other citizenships. – TheYeda Aug 25 '15 at 14:02
  • On your way back to India or on your way back to the US from India? – Burhan Khalid Sep 14 '15 at 15:09
  • Your F-1 or H-1B makes no difference except for transit through Europe. – Karlson Sep 29 '15 at 15:25

Unfortunately, having an expired I-20 would make it impossible for you to apply for a tourist Schengen visa in the US. Local Schengen consulates ask for a valid I-20 in order to verify that you are a long-term resident. For example, here are the residency requirements of the French consulate in the US:

For non American citizens, a proof of resident status in the USA (green card, valid US visa and copy of valid I-20 or valid I-AP66, visas...). The visa AND the US resident status must be still valid at least 3 months after the last day of stay in the Schengen area (+ one copy of the visa, green card or relevant document). US pre-approval notices for US visas will be declined (only valid US visas affixed in your passport are accepted).

The Greek consulate has similar requirements:

For foreign students on F1 visas:

  • valid I-20

  • reference letter from educational institution (school/college/university) stating that you are in good standing, your major and the expected date of graduation.

You can still transit through the Schengen area if your visa satisfies the conditions of visa-free transit.

  • If I am not mistake a valid US visa is accepted at some Schengen states in lieu of a transit visa if the traveler is going to/from the US; so depending on the itinerary the person may not need a transit visa. – Burhan Khalid Jun 15 '16 at 18:10
  • @BurhanKhalid but OP wants to take a trip, not just transit. – JonathanReez Supports Monica Jun 15 '16 at 18:59
  • I was referring to your last line "You can still apply for a transit visa" – Burhan Khalid Jun 15 '16 at 19:00
  • @BurhanKhalid answer updated. – JonathanReez Supports Monica Jun 15 '16 at 19:08

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